Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Assisted dying for healthy older people

Assisted death in “healthy” old age needs consideration

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 23 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j3032
  1. Simon Kenwright, retired physician
  1. Stowting TN25 6BD, UK
  1. simonkenwright{at}

Congratulations to the Dutch for considering old age as possible grounds for assisted death. Van Wijngaarden and colleagues reject this, emphasising the need to look at social context,1 but their weakness is in seeing marginalisation of the very old as preventable. Attempts at integration are often unsuccessful and sometimes paternalistic. Where skills are thought to be maintained into old age, …

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